Girls on the Run

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McKenzie Miller, Program Director for Girls on the Run, joined us today to share what Girls on the Run does for girls in our community.

Girls on the Run inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and to celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Our trained coaches lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event.

Girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be. Studies show that by adolescence, girls' confidence drops about twice as much as boys'. Friendships become more complicated and challenging, girls' perception of their academic ability declines, the likelihood of anxiety and depression increases and participation in physical activity plummets. It doesn't have to be this way.

Participant Registration

This spring, we'll have 62 Girls on the Run teams in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, and Clark Counties. The program will begin in March and will run through May. The teams are small with just 15 girls each (important for small group conversations and team building) so many will fill. If you'd like to register your girl, sign her up ASAP.

To do this, head to our website You can see if we have a team that meets at your school or at a nearby neighborhood school.

Scholarships for Girls

Girls on the run is a program for all girls. We believe that every girl should have the chance to participate--whether she considers herself a "runner" or whether her family is able to afford our registration. For those who are unable to afford the registration fee, we offer financial assistance. A family can easily access a scholarship for their girl through the online registration. Thanks to generous donors and community supporters, program scholarships are available to any girl who needs it, and we can also provide running shoes and clothing to girls in need.

Ways to Get Involved

Running Buddies- At the end of the season, we match every single girl in the program with a running buddy. This is an adult female who run, walks, or skips with her at the Girls on the Run 5k. As a buddy, you'll be matched with a specific girl and you'll be her number one cheerleader. Oftentimes this includes a little motivating and negotiating, saying "we're going to run to that tree, then power walk to the streetlight..." in order to support a positive experience and to help the girl cross the finish line with a sense of accomplishment. This spring we'll have just about 900 girls in the program, so we'll be looking for 900 running buddies!

How: Registration will open in March

When: The Girls on the Run 5k is Saturday, May 13th

Sign Up:

Girls on the Run 5k Community Runners- In addition to running buddies, the Girls on the Run 5k is also open to community runners. Before the girls and buddies complete the 5k, a community run will take place (at 9am). Sign up to run and join us to run your race and then stick around to support the girls and buddies across the finish line. This is an event like no other 5k--the energy and support felt between participants will move you and you'll feel the sense of accomplishment that comes through achievement.

How: Registration will open in February

When: The Girls on the Run 5k is Saturday, May 13th

Sign Up:

Adopt-A-Team- Building confidence and setting young girls down the path of a healthy lifestyle is PRICELESS! However, there are real costs associated with supporting a Girls on the Run team. To provide a safe practice space for the girls, we rent space in the schoolyards of our local school districts. This space, unfortunately, is quite expensive. We're asking for the support of local businesses to cover the cost of facility use by their neighborhood Girls on the Run team.

How: Contact McKenzie Miller at

Donate- Your donation to Girls on the Run directly impacts the lives of girls. It can provide scholarships for girls who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate, help pay for coaching bags and snacks for girls during practice and allow councils to grow and expand the program to make it possible for more girls to participate.